FolkestoneJack's Tracks

Treading in the footsteps of childhood

Posted in Jersey by folkestonejack on September 6, 2011

As a child I went on holiday with my family in Jersey for about nine summers in the 70s/80s (1973, 1975-1981, 1985) but I haven’t been back there for 26 years (unsurprisingly enough, by the end of 9 years I had an almost photographic memory of the interiors of the castles we visited each year!).

After idly talking about going back on a number of occasions I have finally got my act together and booked a flight out to go and see the Jersey International Air Display later this week. I’ve seen the air display before – possibly two or three times – though I would only have been four years old on the probable first occasion in 1976!

Whatever the exact year(s), I am told that amongst the planes presented to us over St Aubin’s bay we saw a Shackleton, Vulcan and Harrier. At that time health and safety was not such a concern, so you could happily sit on the beach and watch everything take place above you – the only concession to such matters being an instruction for bathers to get out of the swimming pool whilst the Harrier hovered!

On another occasion we had taken the bus to the beach at St Ouen’s bay (near our favourite cafe, El Tico) which was just under a mile from the end of the airport runway. As it was the day after the air show many of the planes were making their way back home and we were surprised as a Lancaster and Spitfire took off right above us, followed by two Jaguars. My brother, two years younger than me, ducked as they passed far overhead!

It will be interesting to see how much I remember and how much has changed since I last saw the place. I am slightly nervous that I might unintentionally trample on my childhood memories of an idyllic holiday island and end up replacing them with a much less favourable impression from an adult perspective. I fly out tomorrow morning so it won’t be long until I find out…

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